The boat was red and it was fast, very fast. I didn't see a motor but I heard it roar as we zipped across the water, so smooth and black that it looked like we were gliding on onyx.
Neither one of us was steering the boat but it kept a true course, straight down the throat of the channel and into the broad mouth of the lake.
My hair wasn't tied back. Neither was her mane. It felt good to be unrestrained. It felt good to be free and on fire under the summer sun.
I was laughing. That was impossible because I don't laugh. As someone at work said, I don't even smile. I am untouchable and even those who've known me longest and best don't really know me at all.
But here in this red boat I wore a broad smile and it felt real. I could hear the two of us laughing at the absurdities of life and the miseries it had brought to our separate doorsteps. All of those things, far away from this boat, this lake, this moment.
"Can this be?" I asked.
"It can be, if you let it," came the reply from the voice in the water.
Ahead, the lake seemed to go on forever. I could see no distant shore — just black water in all directions, and a sun in a cloudless sky, lighting the way forward.